Fedor Emelianenko's Blogs

  • Sherdog Remembers: Rise of ‘The Last Emperor’ By: Brian Knapp

    Fedor Emelianenko was not a household name in mixed martial arts circles before March 16, 2003. He was a 26-year-old heavyweight with a gaudy record and two Pride Fighting Championships appearances under his belt. When Emelianenko climbed into the ring to challenge Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira for his heavyweight crown at Pride 25 “Body Blow,” those in the know labeled him an underdog.

    Nogueira was thought to be unbeatable by some, as he mixed an unwavering fighting spirit with superb conditioning, world-class submission skills and rugged durability. The Brazilian had not tasted defeat in nearly three years and had recently posted submission wins over the monstrous Bob Sapp, the 6-foot-11 Semmy Schilt and two-time Olympian Dan Henderson in one four-month span. What’s more, Nogueira had never been dominated, having suffered his only setback in a split verdict to Henderson in February 2000.

    Emelianenko wiped out his aura of invincibility by establishing one of his own. Over the course of their 20-minute encounter, the stoic Russian brutalized Nogueira with ground-and-pound, short-circuiting his potent submission game. By the end of it, the torch had been passed, a new era had dawned.

    The exceptional Emelianenko never relinquished the Pride championship and was regarded as the world’s premier heavyweight for the better part of a decade. Not until his submission defeat to Fabricio Werdum under the Strikeforce banner nearly seven years later did “The Last Emperor” release his spell on the heavyweight division. In his wake lay a vast variety of victims, including 2006 Pride open weight grand prix winner Mirko Filipovic, 2000 Olympic silver medalist Matt Lindland, the 400-pound Wagner da Conceicao Martins, the 7-foot-2 Hong Man Choi, 2001 K-1 World Grand Prix winner Mark Hunt and four former or future Ultimate Fighting Championship titleholders: Mark Coleman, Kevin Randleman, Tim Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski. Even now, the shadow he casts remains immense.

    Pride 25 -- which took place at the Yokohama Arena in Yokohama, Japan, on this day 10 years ago -- also featured a quartet of memorable first-round finishes, as Quinton Jackson wiped out Randleman, Henderson thumped Shungo Oyama, Antonio Schembri put away Kazushi Sakuraba and Anderson Silva leveled Carlos Newton. Spurred by a spectacular flying knee and follow-up punches, the victory was Silva’s last inside the Pride ring. His next two appearances within the Japanese promotion resulted in submission defeats to Daiju Takase and Ryo Chonan. Few could have foreseen Silva growing into the inexorable force he has become today.

    Still, Pride 25 will go down in the history books as the event in which Emelianenko began his reign over the heavyweights. No one before or since has captured the imagination of the masses quite like the man from Stary Oskol.

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  • Poll: Greatest Pound-for-Pound Fighter

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  • Top 5 Forum Threads of the Week By: Jeff Sherwood

    Interim titleholder Carlos Condit will face returning champion Georges St. Pierre in a bout to unify the Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight crown at UFC 154 on Nov. 17 at the Bell Centre in Montreal. The 28-year-old Condit has not fought since he captured a unanimous decision from Nick Diaz in February, and some still wonder whether or not the “Natural Born Killer” should have defended the interim strap at least once before matching skills with St. Pierre.

    Other topics of interest on the Sherdog.net forums this week include Fedor Emelianeko’s place in the minds and hearts of Brazilians, the lasting image for which fighters will be remembered and more reaction to Jon Jones’ decision not to compete against Chael Sonnen on short notice at UFC 151.

    Right Here Waiting

    Fedor Stands Alone

    Enduring Images

    Nobody’s Jackpot

    Give ‘Bones’ a Break

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  • Top 5 Forum Threads of the Week By: Jeff Sherwood

    Junior dos Santos will defend the Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight crown at UFC 155 on Dec. 29, when he collides with Cain Velasquez -- the man from whom he took the belt -- in Las Vegas. Still, many MMA fans desire to see the Brazilian battle suspended former Strikeforce champion Alistair Overeem, and some of them believe the Dutchman would have the upper hand in a matchup with dos Santos.

    Other topics on the Sherdog.net forums include the longshot hope to resurrect a Fedor Emelianenko-Brock Lesnar showdown and more fallout from the UFC 151 cancellation fiasco, highlighted by thoughts from embattled light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, trainer Greg Jackson and members of the media.

    No Match for Overeem

    Some Dreams Never Die

    Jones Finds Purpose

    ‘Yoda’ Chimes In

    Blaming Dana

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  • Josh Gross Joins Press Row By: Jordan Breen

    Every Wednesday, Administrative Editor Jordan Breen welcomes a member of the mixed martial arts media into “Press Row” on the Sherdog.com blog. This week, Breen is joined by ESPN's Josh Gross.

    With all-time heavyweight great Fedor Emelianenko calling it a career -- at least temporarily -- Breen and Gross reflect on “The Last Emperor” and the unique mystique that made him one of MMA’s most fascinating fighters and polarizing figures. The two weigh in on whether or not they expect Emelianenko to fight again, how the Russian’s personality traits informed his career and what sort of run he might have had in the Octagon.

    The two also discuss whether or not Emelianenko will continue to be seen as the all-time best MMA heavyweight, as well as their favorite strange, esoteric Emelianenko memories, from his infamous sweater to his penchant for Red Lobster and ice cream cones.

    Grab your credential and get a seat in “Press Row.”

    The above file can be saved in MP3 format here.

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  • Todd Martin Joins Press Row By: Jordan Breen

    Every Wednesday, Administrative Editor Jordan Breen welcomes a member of the mixed martial arts media into “Press Row” on the Sherdog.com blog. This week, Breen is joined by Todd Martin, a featured MMA contributor for Sherdog.com and The Wrestling Observer.

    Breen and Martin look at the unique moment in heavyweight time, following a fantastic five-round bout between Daniel Cormier and Josh Barnett and before the heavyweight-laden UFC 146 card. The two discuss the consolidation of the division, Junior dos Santos' emergence as a potential international star and whether a champion in the next five years will constitute the new “greatest heavyweight of all-time.”

    Breen and Martin also discuss the potential retirement of Fedor Emelianenko, the shambolic exploits of Bob Sapp and other recent heavyweight folly.

    Grab your credential and get a seat in “Press Row.”

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  • Poll: Fedor in the UFC?

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  • Dana White on Fedor

    video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

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  • Giving Thanks for Last Weekend's Action By: Jeff Sherwood

    This weekend past was definitely a weekend that MMA fans should have been thankful for. We got to watch some MMA fights that weren’t just good, they were great -- true classics.

    The UFC 139 card in San Jose ended with some bombs between “Shogun” and “Hendo.” You can easily argue that it could be the “Fight of the Year” for 2011. In a bloody fight that went back and forth, Henderson and Rua gave us a fight that showed why the UFC wanted five-round non-title fights in main events. I’m not even going to get into the Le-Silva fight, either, a fight that could’ve been “Fight of the Night” on just about any other night.

    But, it wasn’t just UFC 139 on Saturday night. We also had the pleasure of watching Bellator coming to us live from the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel in Hollywood, Fla. The main event was Eddie Alvarez defending his lightweight strap against Michael Chandler. Chandler battled his way through the lightweight tourney to get the chance to fight Alvarez, while Alvarez was being mentioned by many as the best fighter not fighting in the UFC.

    I will admit I expected Chandler to come out and look to wrestle Alvarez, but wrestling did not seem to be in the former Mizzou Tiger’s game plan as he started the fight with a bang and dropped Alvarez. Referee Troy Waugh seemed like he was about to stop the fight just as Alvarez was getting his bearings back and able to get back to his feet. As comes with lightweights, these fighters did not tire the entire fight and both had plenty of “Wow!” moments in the fight, trading dominant rounds back and forth.

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  • ‘Curse of Fedor’ Continues with Silva By: Jason Probst

    Antonio Silva was destroyed by Daniel Cormier. | File Photo: Sherdog.com

    When I wrote about ”The Curse of Fedor” in June, I was pretty sure Antonio Silva would buck the trend of Fedor Emelianenko opponents having letdown performances against future foes after giving the Russian a tough go.

    However, with his one-sided blowout loss to Daniel Cormier in the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix semifinals on Saturday in Cincinnati, Silva definitely fits the bill.

    The defeat of Silva -- who masterfully used his size, crushing top game and ground-and-pound to get a corner stoppage against Emelianenko in the grand prix’s opening round -- only reinforces the Curse’s effects. What’s interesting is the reflection of fans on Silva’s poor showing against Cormier in relation to what his victory over Emelianenko means.

    It is one thing to admit that the once-great Emelianenko is obviously having problems against world-class competition but entirely another when those fighters perform poorly after giving themselves an unprecedented career boost by daring to compete, or even win, against the once-invincible Russian.

    What it means depends on who you ask. For me, it only reinforces the fact that Emelianenko is the most accomplished heavyweight in the history of the sport and the best that has ever competed at that weight. I am confident that the Cain Velasquez-Junior dos Santos winner on Nov. 12 will pose a strong argument against Emelianenko on that second claim. Until then, let us appreciate the Curse as it stands.

    Follow the jump for reader comments. Jason Probst can be reached at Jason@jasonprobst.com or twitter.com/jasonprobst.

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